Cybernetically enhanced LAPD cop Alex Rain hunts android terrorists. After a run-in with some heavily armed enemies he starts to question his job as a killing machine, and leaves his profession. But his past catches up with him, and he soon becomes entangled in a violent conflict between cyborgs, androids and humans.
Continuing in Albert Pyun’s cyberpunk oeuvre that was kickstarted with CYBORG (starring an unknown Jean Claude Van Damme), NEMESIS is arguably his best film. The resourceful director, who was used to working with literally nothing, had an actual decent budget, some well-staged and choreographed action sequences, and a well paced plot. It was his ode to William Gibson’s NEUROMANCER, the seminal speculative fiction novel that coined the term “cyberpunk.”
Granted, NEMESIS is by no means original. Pyun borrowed from other cyborg movies, from THE TERMINATOR, BLADERUNNER and ROBOCOP. And the aforementioned well paced plot was still razor thin, story-wise, but that was made up of lots of explosions, as well as the occasional bon mot of intellectual and philosophical one-liners about humanity and what it means to be corporeal thrown into the mix. Plus, it seems everyone in this post-apocalyptic future wears sunglasses and trench coats, years before Neo and Trinity donned similar threads in THE MATRIX movies.
Ultimately, NEMESIS is a wild ride, led by martial artist turned actor Olivier Gruner, who is flanked with a lot of bad-ass female characters, borrowing from the James Cameron playbook of Ripleys and Sarah Connors.